Hear Ben share how his consistent attendance has enabled him to be bolder in his reliance on the Holy Spirit and as a result he is having many more conversations when he comes out.
Hear Anthony share about a conversation with a Muslim, where he explained the Gospel and encouraged him to trust in Jesus for salvation.
Be encouraged hearing another team member share about a conversation he had with a Mormon preacher, who seemed quite content to just agree that "Christians and Mormons beleive the same thing".
Please be praying for these conversations, knowing that it is God who works in the hearts of those whom He has called. Please also consider joining us one day and see how you can be used for the building of God's Kingdom!
In Sunnybank on Thursday afternoon the team took out three flip charts and were able to use them in having many Gospel conversations. These simple good person tests have been very effective in reaching people who would otherwise have walked on and it allows them to hear the Gospel. If you have the money to spare, you can pick up one from the online store and use it in your local area. (In the near future we aim to release a video that shows how the flip chart is done).
One conversation with the flip chart was had with a muslim woman named Mah. Throughout the lengthy conversation she declared that the god she worshiped was so big and so holy that he didn't really worry about sin. She declared that humanity was designed to sin and that the god she worships is so loving, that he can just forgive sin.
Sadly, Mah may worship a god like this, but this god is the figment of someone's imagination and not the Holy, Righteous and Just God of this universe. It was explained that God's Holiness and Infinite authority and power is the very reason that sin is so bad. It is the stature of God, that makes rebellion against Him such a problem.
It was explained that true humanity is without sin. We were designed to know God and be intimate with God, on the basis of being sinless image bearers. It was also shared that sin is what makes us unable to approach the Holy God, because sin is finally and fully against Him. Lastly it was stressed that God loves righteousness and goodness, which is why he can not ignore sin. Because he loves righteousness He must hate wickedness.
Mah, was then talked through the glorious Gospel, that God loves the guilty, vile and helpless. She heard that God doesn't come to save, "nice" or "good" people but He comes to save the most broken and wretched of humanity. This is what displays the depths of His love. He isn't just loving those who are easy to love but loves those who least deserve it.
At the end of the conversation Mah proclaimed that she didn't want or need a saviour and was happy to face God on judgement day as she was. It was repeated a final time, that any who stand before God in their own works of "righteousness" will be condemned as guilty and face God's eternal judgement in Hell. Mah said she was happy to risk it.
A second conversation was had with Tommy. This young man, shared that he was an agnostic on the basis of there being no "evidence" of God and that no-one can "prove" God. In response, it was stated that people don't have to "prove" God and neither has God tried to prove Himself. God, simply by doing things that only God can do and by acting according to His nature has revealed Himself.
It was about this point in the conversation when a "Christian" woman who had overheard the conversation interjected and "apologised" for such behaviour. Telling Tommy that most Christians weren't like this and that she wanted him to have a really good afternoon, rather than to be stuck talking about sin, God's judgement and Hell. The woman finished off by saying, she hope he knew that God loves him.
In response, it was pointed out that, Tommy was about to hear how specifically God had loved him and then be pointed to the only place where he can find forgiveness, hope and lasting satisfaction.
The conversation flowed a little after that but sadly this woman's intention to "help" out this young man displayed that she didn't really know the importance or value of the Gospel for salvation.
Lastly there was a conversation that was left almost in tears, not by the one hearing the Gospel but, by the Christian sharing it. Young Jordan stopped to engage. He wasn't and atheist, agnostic or of any other religion. He had an American heritage and was in Australia for a short while.
He thought he was a good guy but came to understand that we have all sinned. He heard of God's judgement and sentence for sin, Hell. He came to understand the depths of what Hell is and why it will be such an awful place to "live" in and why it is called "eternal death".
Jordan understood the call the Gospel made on his life, why God offered this hope to sinners and despite everything said, Jordan did not even bat an eyelid. When asked why, he said it was because he couldn't ever go to Heaven and therefore was going to live however he wanted. It was explained that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross has the ability to save any and all who come in surrender to Him.
Jordan said he understood this and then changed his reason, "I just want to continue to live my own way". With tears in their eyes, the evangelist pleaded with him to not choose Hell, especially when God so freely has offered forgiveness but Jordan was not moved, he remained resolute in his defiance against God.
Please be praying that Mah reads the Gospel of John she was given and comes to understand who Jesus is and why He is the only Saviour. Please pray that Tommy will be able to remember the Gospel from the conversation. Please pray that the "Christian" woman is convicted by the Holy Spirit about her apathy toward the salvation of sinners and the importance of the Gospel. Please come before our gracious and merciful God and plead with him to give Jordan a hatred of sin and a desperation for Jesus.
If you would like to purchase a flip chart to help you share the Gospel in your local area, you can find it here.
This afternoon throughout the afternoon the team had a whole host of conversations. One team member was rejoicing at such a glorious afternoon. Another stated it was filled with 4 really good conversations.
It is a real privilege to be a part of the team. Most afternoons someone comes away rejoicing at the beauty of a divine appointment or at the change in someone's heart.
When one thinks of the average Australian's understanding of Christianity or relation to God, they probably don't assume that such a person has no knowledge of the Bible or Christianity but this afternoon was an eye opener. It was filled with a range of conversations with just those sort of people, ones who had no idea about God and rarely if ever thought about Him.
One conversation was had with Nick, a mid to late fifties business man who said, "To be honest, I have never really thought about God. I have lived my life doing my own thing. I have been married 35 years, don't commit crimes, pay my taxes and care for my family. I don't know if a God exists but I just don't care. When I die, I suppose God will let me into Heaven because I have lived a good life."
In response to this, it was explained that living our own way, in rejection of God and His standards is exactly what got humanity into this mess. We were designed to find our greatest joy and value in knowing, loving and serving God and when we live in defiance against Him we miss out on the beautiful life we were designed for and act in a way that deserves God's judgment.
Nick, said this made sense but didn't really seem moved. He left to head back to work after hearing that God alone can solve this predicament we've gotten ourselves into.
Another conversation was had with Loki. He outright started by saying that he doesn't think God exists. When asked why he had come to this position he said, "Because there is too much evil and suffering in this world for there to be a God". This was responded to with a very simple question, "How would we know the world wasn't meant to be this way, unless God had designed it differently?"
This question, is clear and easy to understand. It is only because the world was created to be without sin, that we know it is broken. Loki went on to acknowledge that everyone makes decisions based on what they think is best. He even stated, "I live according to my own ideas. I try not to hurt people or do anything bad".
This was pointed out as a problem, everyone living according to their own ideas and rules, is humanities problem. We are a selfish, greedy and proud people. The question was posed to Loki, "What is the solution to this problem of selfishness? How can a human being have their desires changed?"
He responded offering the solution that maybe rules would help but then quickly acknowledged that this wouldn't work as we already have an abundance of rules.
It was proposed that only one who has power over humanity could solve this problem. We need someone with the ability to change a human heart. It was explained that only God can change people. He doesn't do it by rules but by offering a heart renovation, a complete replacement of a sinful heart, with one filled with a desire to love God and others. And it was pointed out that this heart renovation can only come on the basis of us being purchased from the sentence of Hell.
Loki, acknowledged this as understandable but said he would have to consider it more.
Back on the theme of Australian's with extremely limited knowledge of God, an elderly woman Gail spoke to the team. She didn't know who God was, or what He expected. She hadn't heard of God's Law and wasn't really wanting to. She was more interested in saying, "It all depends on who you think God is, what you think Heaven is or what you think right and wrong is".
This was a sad conversation because an elderly woman, soon to face God in judgement was not interested in hearing how she, a sinner, could be forgiven. She preferred to pretend that sin wasn't sin.
A final conversation was had with Eric. He interrupted a conversation with two other young people, to ask for a cigarette, then proceeded to espouse his own ideas until they ended up leaving. Eric declared that he was a christian-agnostic. He, in one sentence, would talk about being a Christian and loving God then declare that Jesus wasn't perfect, nor was sin that wicked.
He spent a lot of time talking about his "god" who is only loving. His "god" who doesn't punish sin, nor does he judge but he simply loves. It was pointed out that this god doesn't really love, rather he just doesn't care and nor does he exist.
Eric, had a hard time understanding but seemed to at the end. It was explained that God loves righteousness, Holiness and goodness, which means He hates wickedness, sin and any impurity. This means, our sin isn't small or insignificant but rather something that God cannot ignore.
Eric held strongly to the idea that he had trusted Jesus long ago but sadly had no understanding of why Jesus had to die, or who was punishing Jesus on the cross. He hadn't grasped Jesus' sacrifice in the place of sinners, nor that God hates sinners.
When he came to understand Jesus' atonement he then asked, "Does that mean a mass murderer could be evil his whole life, then turn and trust in Jesus and go to Heaven? I wouldn't want someone like that in Heaven with me".
It was explained, that a consequence of Jesus' resurrection is that all who trust in Him are given a new heart and new desires. They are not only forgiven but are sanctified (and being sanctified). Which means, that all those who trust in Christ, will desire to live for Him and on the final day their sanctification will be complete.
There will be no murderers in Heaven, no liars or thieves. The only people in Heaven will be those who are redeemed from the power of sin and are adopted children of the living God.
It was stressed to Eric, that he should consider what he had heard and ask himself whether or not he really trusted in God's Saviour, or just an idealised version of himself.
Please pray for Nick, that he would seek to know his God. Please pray for Loki, that he would find regeneration and forgiveness in Christ. Please pray for Gail, that she would know the Saviour before she passed on. Please pray for Eric, that he would give up his idol "god" and come in surrender before the true God.
Please also, pray for yourselves, that you would be equipped with boldness and obedience by the Spirit, seeking to share with your unbelieving neighbours, friends and family, that the God who gave them life will hold them accountable for their actions and either they will face the consequences or they can trust in Jesus who has taken the punishment on behalf of sinners.
Today we had the 2 flipcharts near the pier and a couple of roving evangelist types operating in the same area. There was opportunity to interchange roles occasionally and the team worked well together in this format.
There was a lengthy chat with a Sikh family which concluded with them receiving a gospel of John. They were going to check out the claims of Christ for themselves. Pray that they do. Jesus came to save His people from their sins and not just to make salvation possible, Mt. 1:21.
A novice using a flipchart reached the point where Conan exclaimed the equivalent of WOW. He has a Bible and was going to read John and ask the Lord to show him the truth.
There were others visibly affected by the gospel and others were still questioning. There is no doubt that conversations were relatively easy to start compared to trying to get people walking past to stop and chat.
Thank God for Himself; He alone is worthy of praise and thanksgiving now and forever. Amen.
This afternoon, the team was reminded that it was winter with a chilling breeze throughout the afternoon. Thankfully, there were a number of work arounds, allowing the flipcharts to still remain standing. Numerous people were able to engage with the Gospel through the charts.
One conversation was with Casic. He seemed uninterested to talk at first but then a few moments later returned and asked, "I have never understood what Jesus was dying for. What does is mean that Jesus died for our sins?"
In response, he was asked, "Who was punishing Jesus on the cross?". Casic thought it may have been humans. But didn't seem interested in the answer. He was jumping around, espousing his own ideas and asking questions, then answering them himself. It was a tough conversation and a very sad one.
This man who thought himself to be wise, admitted that he didn't read the Bible and had no desire to. Rather, he had fashioned a god from his own ideas and this is a heart-breaking reality that many people live with. They worship gods that are idolised versions of themselves.
Finally after a number of attempts to bring the discussion back to who was punishing Jesus on the cross, Casic relented and asked, "Who do you say it was?". In reality it doesn't matter what any Christian says it was, it is God who has told humanity and Isaiah 53:10 was quoted,
"Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand."
At this, Casic, seemed uninterested. He declared that he didn't need a saviour and went on his way.
As many Christians experience in their own lives, the temptation toward think we are more loved by God, or in a better standing before God, when we do "good" works, is one that is regular and constant. We seem to have a pre-disposition to this, "self-righteous" attitude.
Sadly, Christians aren't the only ones that get sucked into this lie. It is rare to meet someone who doesn't think that God loves them, will let them into Heaven or will forgive them on the basis of how "good" they are. This is usually a major road block to understanding the Gospel. (This is also why the law of God, wielded by the Spirit of God is an important part of a persons conversion).
On three separate occasions, this afternoon, the team spoke to men, who were religious, professing to be Christians and yet when asked why God would let them into Heaven, foolishly declared that their church going, prayer, food van service, or general "goodness" was the reason God would let them in.
May we as Christians never fall into this trap of trying to justify ourselves by our works. May we be wary against this temptation and pride. May we be motivated by love, knowing that God has saved us despite all we have done and therefore be bold in sharing with other self-righteous sinners, that their only hope of being accepted by God is if they trust in Christ's sacrifice and Christ's righteousness.
God sent a worker to help share the Glorious Gospel today. The Lord had more prepared hearts for us, Praise His Holy Name!
Please pray for a lady named Pendara. She stopped as I held out a “Are you a Good Person Tract” and wanted to know what it was. We had a 10 minute chat using the booklet explaining to her that I used to be “Mrs Nice Gal” 19 years ago, but I didn’t know the Bible message then.
I shared that we all have sinned against God, and that we need to have a healthy fear of God, who is Perfect Holy and Just. I continued saying the, "We need to be humbled by God". In God's loving kindness we hear of His great love to redeem us through the Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to save us sinners. He calls us to respond in repentance and faith, relying on what Jesus has done. I kept explaining, "This is a gift we receive from God and not anything we can do and we should be thankful and seek to know Him through His Word".
Pendara spoke of how God must be speaking to her as she keeps being reminded of the call to be saved. I urged her to respond and pointed out God’s call for her to receive His grace and mercy. She said she has a Bible and will read the tract. We hugged. I told her about the website and if she needed help with anything to come see me at the Bible table. Pray for her salvation and that she won't put off being saved as we don't know if we have tomorrow.
We gave bibles to Merv & Scott from the Sunshine Coast. I got to chat with Merv briefly but Scott walked away. Merv is a believer and wanted the bible for his wife. He had to go because Scott was waiting for him. Pray they will read the Word.
Ron & Rose from Warwick each asked for a Bible. Beth talked with Ron and I talked with Rose.
Rose was really open to the Gospel. I also gave her a Gospel of John and encouraged that this would be a good book to start with. I also pointed out the bridge illustration of the plan of salvation for her to go over again. Pray the tracts we gave with the Gospel message will stir their hearts to receive salvation. Pray God’s Word will bless and grow them to know Him and His ways.
It was good to have a helper to speak one to one, Praise God!
Beth also got to talk with a 92 year old man named Sid and planted the seed of the Gospel with words and a tract. Pray for Sid and June.
More people to pray for - Hebert, Alan, Tony, and Coral they also have tracts. Pray for all who received a tract today. Thank you for your faithful work of prayer! To God alone be the Glory!
This afternoon at Capalaba the team had the privilege of engaging with a host of different people. There were less people than usual but conversations weren't hard to find. This afternoon was filled with unusual conversations and these are usually sad. Uniqueness in a religious belief isn't good, because it means the belief differs from God's clear revelation.
The first was with a man named Keith. He proclaimed to be a spiritual man and "very intelligent". Keith believed that God existed but that all religions are wrong. He attacked the Bible as false because, "we weren't there, we can't know it is true" and declared that true spirituality is just being good and hoping that God accepts that.
Keith didn't understand the Gospel when the conversation first started but said he understood it at the end.
Sadly, he follow this acknowledgment with, "but it is wrong". He is a man, that is so desperately in love with himself and his own ideas and on this basis has rejected God's very clear revelation about Himself.
Please be praying that God would be gracious to Keith and lead him to repentance.
Another conversation was had with a man who asked, "What do you think Heaven is?"
When it was explained that Heaven is a place, enjoying God and His glory eternally the man scoffed in scorn. He declared loudly, "Who would want to go there, what an awful place. Heaven should be like this earth where we can live how we want and make our own choices".
Sadly this man, also claimed to be a believer in God. It was another scary conversation with a man deluded to think that Heaven would be a place where he could sin at will, without consequence.
Two other conversations were had with a young man named Callum and a Girl named Shania. Neither had much understanding of God except for the idea that He is love. Callum thought that God would just let anyone into Heaven and Shania thought that as long as you try hard God will accept you.
Callum lent towards a buddhist idea of karma and was hoping that God would give some small punishments in this life so he would be okay on judgement day. It was explained that there is no small sin and no small punishment for sin because there is no small God to sin against.
Sadly Callum didn't really think he was that bad, or was that worried by God's judgement but preferred to live his own way.
On the other hand Shania came to understand that God's love is far more than what we call love (having mushy feelings). She learnt that God's love is for the underserving, the guilty, vile and helpless. God had every right to punish us and instead, punished Himself, so that we could be forgiven.
Shania was taken back and had never heard of God's love in this way before. She said she wanted to know more.
Please be praying for Keith that God would humble him. For the other man, that he would come to a saving knowledge of God. For Callum that he would see his desperate need for the Saviour and for Shania that she would seek to know God more.
Please also pray for Caleb a young man who heard the bad news but whose bus arrived before he was able to hear the Gospel. Please be praying that the team could speak to him in the coming weeks.
This was our second time here in Southmall Manurewa. The Lord had allowed 5 of us to go, Pastor Orr, one of our Deacons Joe, our sister Eliza and our brother Stuart joining us in the end and myself.
Even with the small turnout of locals in the area that evening we were still able to hand out many of our Operation 513 gospel tracts. A couple of people asked for Bibles.
One of the highlights was being able to open air preach on the pavement, using amplification, as we had quite a few people listening. To the left there were the customers waiting for their take away order from the Pizza Hut many of them came outside once they heard the preaching. Others listening were the uber and taxi drivers that were right in front of us. Even some by standers stopped to listen.
One man in particular was walking by and stopped as I preached about God's omnipresence and how nothing is hidden from the eyes of the Lord. Then I proclaimed that because of Christ, all those whom believe in Him, trusting in who He is and what He has done on the cross, all the sins of the believer is cast as far as the east is from the west and into the sea of God's forgetfulness.
He stayed a couple more minutes to listen then turned around and kept walking, please pray for all those who heard and were contacted through one to one conversations.
Please pray for our next outreach on the 18th of Aug as we with God's help plan to visit Otara markets.
The team had a wonderful night on the Gold Coast last night. Hear Natalie share about a Christian couple who realised the importance of Jesus' sacrifice for the first time. And hear Trevor share, using the flip chart, with a couple who had no idea what Jesus came to accomplish but soon learnt and desired to know more!
At the Jumpers and Jazz Festival on this week, there were more people in town. Lots of Gospel tracts were handed out, praise God.
The ministry we able to give out two more Bibles to Emma & Douglas, the family from Inglewood. Their ninth child was born two weeks ago. Please pray we can continue to encourage this family as they seek to read Gods Word.
I met another Christian from Inglewood. His name is Ron. He is connected to a church there and has a sound understanding of the Gospel.
He wanted to know about the ministry. Please pray these Christians will support each other in their faith in Jesus.
Alan, the man who I talked with a couple of weeks ago, stopped for a bit. He says he is born again but he does not want to hold Scripture as the final authority. He says everyone interprets it differently. He is also adding works to salvation. So, I just focused on what the Bible teaches. I shared that we are brought to repentance and faith by God's Grace alone. After that, obedience follows because He first loved us and works are evidence of our faith but cannot save us. He did not agree.
Sadly Alan, goes to a range of churches and not under any authority. He said he sees visions and bases a lot of his beliefs on his experiences. It is scary that his testimony but does not align with Scripture. Please pray that God by grace will lead Alan to the correct understanding of the Gospel and the Scriptures.
Please pray for Mandy. She is a Liaison officer, who knows the Gospel and is eager to share with others. We talked about the need to be discerning and know true from false. I have given her a name of a ministry to check out that deals with false teachers in a truthful yet loving manner. His name is Justin Peters the ministry is "JustinPeters.org". You can check this out for yourselves, it is a good resource.
Please pray for all the tracts handed out today.
Please pray for these seeds to stir the hearts of each person who has been given the Gospel message.
May God be and Glorified!